Stream of MY Consciousness?

by Joe Buonfiglio

The God’s-honest truth is, “I got nothin’.”

Not a damn thing.

I’ve been farting around with this freaking blog-post all day long.

ALL. DAY. LONG.

Nothing is working. Every idea runs me down a creative blind alley. Nothing makes me laugh enough. Nothing seems absurd enough. Nothing is dramatic enough, poignant enough, endearing enough, satirical enough… anything enough. It’s all just so much trivial drivel that isn’t clicking with my little grey cells on any level.

In short, it’s total bullshit! I’ve reached the point where I am utterly unable to string one coherent sentence together with another. And so, I’ve decided to not even try. I’m going gonzo; literarily “going commando,” if you will.

STREAM OF CONSCIOUSNESS.

Now, don’t get too excited. If you’re expecting Jack Kerouac’s On the Road, you’ve come to the wrong place. This is Potpourri of the Damned, not The New York Times Best-Sellers list.

So, here we go:

Joe Buonfiglio’s
Stream of MY Consciousness

Have you ever wondered what happened to Milk Duds. You know, the candy: Milk Duds. I used to love Milk Duds. They were my favorite candy to buy at a movie theater concession stand. During a film, you could pop one in your mouth and suck on it until its core started dissolving on your tongue as if your saliva consisted of pure acid.

Wait.

Those were Whoppers, not Milk Duds.

My bad.

The only material thing I have left on my bucket list of material things is a ’56 Buick Century. Now, you may be wondering why — out of ALL the classic cars I could choose from to place on my list of “before I die” possessions — I would choose an off-year Buick. Well, it’s a matter of personal history. See, my first car was a three-tone blue (The previous owner had tried to hand-paint it with spray cans of various “touch-up” shades.) 1956 Buick Century. God, I loved that car. A hideous sight to the casual motorist, it was an absolute beauty in my eyes; perfect in every way. Its only fault: varnish in the gas tank. It had sat in a rat-infested old barn for years before I bought it for $400. Well, my $100 and the $300 I owed my father for it. Even after spending most of my summer-job money on boiling out the fuel lines instead of paying my dad back, it was still the best thing that had EVER happened to me. Then, one fall afternoon, I came home and my beautiful Buick wasn’t in the driveway. “Where’s my car,” I apprehensively questioned my old man. “That thing was a piece of shit,” he burbled. “My friend needed parts for his tractor, so I gave it to him.”

Gave it to him? My car? MY car! For… … … TRACTOR-FUCKING-PARTS?!

I never forgave him. Even now, so long after my dad’s death, there’s still a part of me that wants to find an old, rusted-out ’56 Century, sneak it into the cemetery and park it on his grave… leaking oil into the sanctified soil… … … drip… … … drip-drip-drip.

You ever wonder what the world would be like if we all communicated through flatulence? Two poots and an extended squeaker would mean, “Hey, Joe, how was your weekend?” A response of a bombastic blast and a wet tuba would say, “Great. We went to the Catskills. Thanks for asking.” Would that make “silent but deadlies” a form of telepathy? Perhaps successfully lighting one’s farts would make you a god. Jesus, how much money could you make as an interpreter then, huh? Working at the United Nations would be more a matter of survival, than diplomacy.

Isn’t it weird that social media is the least social place to interact with humans in the world… you know… besides Walmart at three o’clock Christmas morning.

Why is it that if I fornicate in public, people throw things at me and I go to jail, but rich folks will pay hundreds of thousands of dollars to watch a racehorse do it?

If I shit in a box and mail it to the president of the United States, will I go to jail? For what crime? Shit isn’t a threat, right? It’s not as if I’d be mailing him a dead fish wrapped in one of his vests a la Luca Brasi; that would be threatening. No, this is just a box of shit; that’s satiric commentary, no? I could see the Secret Service getting really bent out of shape if you go all The Godfather on the president’s ass, but shit in a box? That’s damn near a Christmas present in my family!

“Putz” is a word I simply don’t use enough. I’ll have to do something about that.

Parting is such sweet sorrow? Seriously? Will Shakespeare must have been sparking up the old Elizabethan narcotics when he penned that one. Sweet sorrow? Try kiss my ass, I am outta here. Stream THAT consciousness, Muth-a-fucker!

Now where did I put those WHOPPERS?

 

© 2017 Joseph P. Buonfiglio     All Rights Reserved.

DEEP… DARK… SECRETS

Comedy Ain’t Pretty

by Joe Buonfiglio

My favorite comedy club in the world… a place of hilarious improvisational madness in which I have frequented and loved being in the audience, as well as having twice performed onstage… is closing next month under the specter of sexual harassment and discrimination by its owner. I never saw any of this; he always showed me nothing but kindness, patience and supportive encouragement. Apparently, others disagree and saw more of a monster than a mentor.

For me, this is an unbelievably sad day.

I am beside myself.

It was not that long ago that I accepted an invitation to appear as a “guest storyteller” at this locally renowned comedy theatre. I was to present four vignettes that could then be used as the basis for improvisational comedy by the club’s pros.

My theme for the evening, ironically enough in light of recent events, was:

DEEP… DARK… SECRETS!

As indicated in my “last-minute reminder” notes pictured above, the “shameful” skeletons hidden in the closet of my past that I chose to reveal to the audience that night were: I used to be in— PUBLIC RELATIONS; I used to be a member of— the KU KLUX KLAN (Don’t freak out until you’ve heard the whole story.); I hate dogs; and finally, astronaut Neil Armstrong once saved my ass.

The premise of “I used to be in public relations” was quite simple, really. I admitted to having once been in PR as if it was some kind of sin, and then proceeded to explain the obvious reasons why I had to leave the oft-maligned profession.

First of all, I can’t remember people’s names. This is a big problem if you’re in “public” (AKA “people”) relations. I brought a man up from the audience, which TOTALLY freaked out the cast as being — as one of them put it — “unprecedented.”

“You don’t have to do this,” one cast member nervously stated.

“No-no, yes you do!” I demanded. “Come on up here.”

What they didn’t discern was that the man being brought up onto the stage was my son and this had been prearranged earlier that day.

“What’s your name?” I questioned my shill from the audience.

“Tom,” he declared.

“Thank you, Betsy,” I said, “You can sit back down now.”

I also demonstrated that when I get nervous, such as when I meet people for the first time, I tend to kiss them. Bringing my son back up, I then proceeded to rather shockingly plant a smoocher on the “randomly selected” audience member “Betsy” right there onstage, further stressing the horrified comedians by my actions.

Next I did a little hand-sanitizer routine as to why being a germophobe isn’t such a good thing in the glad-handing world of public relations; admittedly, that didn’t seem to go over as well as the other two segments of the bit. Still, it was a good routine overall.

After the improv pros worked with that for a while, my next reveal from my past was the most dangerous. As I sort of stepped on the third rail of comedy, I’m told the look of horror on the faces of the comedians standing behind me was priceless.

No, I didn’t talk about Hitler, but the “next best thing” in the list of comedy “DON’TS,” as I announced that “I used to be a member of the Ku Klux Klan.”

Yep. I went there.

Let me explain.

My rather meandering tale surrounded the fact that I was a journalist in a past life, and that during my college years in this course of study, I had to do a project as a final exam involving investigative reporting. My subject of choice: the KKK.

To make the proverbial long story short, I infiltrated a cross-burning ceremony on a farm outside of Ocala, Florida. This involved me and a law student co-conspirator taking my old rusted-out pickup truck to the insidious event to research the story. What we didn’t realize was that we’d have to fill out paperwork to actually JOIN the reviled organization in order to even get in. Not only that, but there were enough Klansmen to start a small city, as the “Imperial Wizard” of the Klan was there to speak that night.

After our deception was discovered, we barely made it out with our skins having to literally make our escape with Klansmen in pursuit. The punchline to the tale was that as we raced into the parking area to find my truck for our getaway, we encountered a veritable SEA of old rusted-out pickup trucks that looked EXACTLY like mine. It would have been easier to find the idiomatic “needle in a haystack” than my chosen means of transportation.

As I am alive to tell the tale, we obviously got out of there before they caught up with us. Oh, and I was able to sneak my KKK-membership application off the pile of them when no one was looking. So yes, I WAS a member of the Ku Klux Klan… … … for about 15 seconds.

“Go ahead,” I said to the stunned comedic-improvisational professionals behind me, “do something with that!”

The next about-to-be-exposed tidbit pissed off people more than the KKK story:

I.

HATE.

DOGS!

I hate dogs. I knew this simple premise, while endearing me to cat-people, would make me the villain with dog owners. From goofy, cuddly puppies (“Oooooh, I’m alive! Look at me! I just peed on the rug. Yeeeeeeeea!”) to full-blown adult mutts who obediently await your arrival home to drop a fresh-killed smelly something-or-other at your feet, I hate dogs… and cats… and I’m not really fond of birds or snakes… or people.

Okay, basically, I hate everything.

And finally, the tale of how Neil Armstrong once saved my ass.

So, once again trying to come up with the elevator-pitch CliffsNotes account of this sliver along my personal timeline, the bottom line is that a creative partner and I needed a stretch-out-the-time filler piece to add to our Theatre of the Absurd radio show in order to get a national airing. Being the luckiest sons-a-bitches in the world, we accidentally discovered that if you play Armstrong’s “one small step for man” moon-landing speech backwards, it sounds as if he’s saying, “Man, this baseball smells bad.”

I shit you not.

Try it yourself, if you don’t believe me.

This saved our ass and the weird little show aired across the country. And speaking of asses, with the help of the comedy club’s DJ, I did an audio demonstration of this for the audience; they laughed their asses off.

“Next time,” I said concluding my bit, “I’ll tell you how John Glenn saved my nipples.”

Deep, dark secrets: whether you believe in their veracity or not, sometimes they can be funny as hell… and sometimes they can shut down a comedy club.

 

 

© 2017 Joseph P. Buonfiglio     All Rights Reserved.
All photos are © 2017 Joseph P. Buonfiglio with All Rights Reserved.

DON’T BLOW YOUR HAND OFF!

… UNTIL I GET BACK!

I’m taking a little break from my insanely inane scribblings to celebrate Old Glory, watch some fireworks and baseball, as well as indulge in more than my fair share of hot dogs and cold ones.  So be safe while I’m on hiatus and, for God’s sake, don’t blow your hand off!  You won’t be able to bitch-slap me when next we meet.  Not to mention… well… you know.

I’LL BE BACK BEFORE YOU KNOW IT
WITH MORE
DELIGHTFUL ABSURDITY!

PS – Why not catch up on all the lovely POTPOURRI OF THE DAMNED archived posts you missed: 

http://www.joebuonfiglio.com/2017/06/

http://www.joebuonfiglio.com/2017/05/

http://www.joebuonfiglio.com/2017/04/

And there’s plenty more.  Just scroll down or find the “ARCHIVE” widget on this site.  See you soon….

WITH LOVE AND UTTER DISDAIN FOR THE TOILET-CLEANSING INDUSTRY,
Joe Buonfiglio

 

 

 

Is This the PERFECT Absurdist Meme?

Is It Possible? Could One Bizarre Line Fit All?

by Joe Buonfiglio

MEMES: Those addictive digitally transmitted photos captioned with humorous expressions designed to lampoon or call attention to that which the creator feels deserves a little public ridicule or even societal examination. However, they often do not aspire to such loftier satirical ideals and just try to be funny for funny’s sake or, in my case, WEIRD for weirdness’ sake.

As a self-proclaimed “Literary Absurdist,” I found myself on a quest to create not just the perfect meme, but the perfect ABSURDIST meme. Was there one meme-formatted caption that could speak the language of Absurdism so well that it translated any picture to which it attached itself into the type of Absurdist-meme gold that would make Albert Camus or Salvador Dali sigh with utter joy?

While this may be an entirely unattainable goal, I nonetheless shall endeavor to make the attempt.

The absurdist phrase that my grey cells eventually concocted and settle upon:

IT IS A SAD DAY IN THE LITERARY WORLD
WHEN PLEASURING ONESELF CANNOT REPRESENT THE ARCHETYPAL CHARACTER ARC

To my mind, it is a flawless randomly bizarre caption. Now, does it express itself as the true representation of absurdist wonder by translating that arbitrary strangeness to any photo or illustration it adorns?

Let’s find out, shall we? Here are 25 images randomly selected (Yes, honestly!) from my digital library to use as backdrop in combination with the “perfect absurdist caption” to create memes d’ ludicrous art:

 

I think I’ve made my point.

You’re welcome, by the way.

 

© 2017 Joseph P. Buonfiglio     All Rights Reserved.

THERE IS ONLY SO LONG I CAN GO…

You may have noticed that Potpourri of the Damned did not publish on Wednesday (6/14/17).  That’s because things are heating up with the potential sale of my book, so I need to concentrate on that for a while.  However, look for it to publish in all its resplendent absurdity next week, because, in all honesty, there is only so long I can go without being weird.

While I’m on this little barely a hiatus, why not check out some of the fun stuff on my YouTube page: LINK TO JOE’S YOUTUBE PAGE — CLICK HERE.

Until next time, thank you.

— Joe Buonfiglio

WHO AM I?

(And It Ain’t Pretty!)

by Joe Buonfiglio

At this point in my life, I am fully cooked; I am who I am. Oh sure, a few changes here and there to sand down some of the shaper edges might be possible in the time remaining to me, my steps yet left to traverse the mortal coil. However, for the most part, I’m pretty much all in and playing the hand I’ve been dealt.

So, who — or what — is it I think I see looking back at me when I gaze into the mirror?

Sigh.

I have become an obscene thing; a vulgar ghost floating across the Earth giving the living the middle finger even though I know they can’t see me.

I am the last taco shell into which the overly greasy end-of-the-day meat has been placed and handed to some unsuspecting stoner through the roach coach window; both of us blissfully unaware of the emergency room visit that awaits us a scant hour or so from now.

I am the makeup upon the serial-killer clown’s face, unable to scream to the children, “Run! Do not accept his offer to take you to his funhouse just a little bit deeper into the woods!”

I am the night terror that was meant to be a premonition of what to avoid in the new day, but forgotten as the sun rises… and you board the plane uneasy, but trusting.

I am the wisp of flatulence camouflaged by the on-screen explosion that you hoped would render me unnoticed in the crowded movie theater, but which betrays you by silently screaming out with a stench to all in close proximity that you have once again fallen prey to your concession-stand chili-nacho fries addiction.

I am the ’65 pop-top Mustang that once drew every eye as it slowly cruised down the beachside boulevard on a steamy summer’s night, but now just slowly rusts into the earth nothing more than a nest for a few rats and one slowly dying rabid raccoon.

I am a malted milkshake ordered, delivered ice cold and delicious, but never consumed as the voice on the smartphone says, “I’ve got some bad news.”

I am the only barstool that no one is allowed to sit upon out of respect in memoriam for the one who virtually owned it years before, a tab now never to be paid.

I am the flypaper hanging in the old gas station that the interstate bypassed years ago, clinging to the illusion of purpose with the same futile tenacity of the station’s aged, sole proprietor.

I am the water theme park closed for the winter, eagerly awaiting the return of the children, unaware that the beachfront property on which I stand is far more valuable to the condominium developer’s 55+ plans than the laughter of children.

I am the cold beer opened, forgotten, and left to go warm and stale.

I am the paper graded with an “A” turned in the day before by the normally failing student, but never picked up as a sign of a potential turning point thanks to the lead foot of a teenager now part of a tapestry of wreckage down a ravine where his body won’t be discovered for days.

I am popcorn regrettably ordered without extra butter; a good idea not nearly as satisfying as it could have been.

I am the joke that was once funny, but over time lost its context and now barely makes sense.

However, I am a writer. I have hope. Every blank page makes me feel as if God to the universe I am about to create. That is why…

Why.

I am.

Still.

Here.

 

© 2017 Joseph P. Buonfiglio     All Rights Reserved.

THIS IS A TEST!

This is Only a Test

by Joe Buonfiglio

This is a test of the EMERGENCY BLOGCAST SYSTEM. This is only a test. Had this been an actual literary-absurdist emergency, you would have been directed to your nearest alternative-reality fallout shelter for cosmetic surgery to enable advanced melatonin levels in your genitalia.

Reality? Reality adjacent?

Not even close.

Look at this as sort of an experiment in the philosophical realm driven by the author’s punishing insecurity. Given this…

If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?

Likewise, as a variation on a theme for this philosophic conundrum…

If a blog is written and no one is around to read it, was it ever posted?

Sure, Friedrich Nietzsche declared, “God is dead,” as did the cover of Time magazine query about the matter in 1966. But as philosophy and theology bang heads over the state of God’s health, the same dispute must be applied to the epicenter of the digital literati:

Is the blog… DEAD?

And if not the collective “blog” and those toiling away in the blogosphere, then what about that which you now read… or don’t (as the fallen tree might observe)? Has this blog, my child so aptly named Potpourri of the Damned, simply run its course? Have I gotten too weird for some of you, perhaps too political for others?

Am I only doing this for myself at this point? That possibility is a rather chilling prospect, I must admit.

I have a decent number of subscribers, but there are rarely any comments submitted by them. Is that natural? After all, I’m not a celebrity and you’re all busy people. I do sometimes wonder if you all follow me and this strange little blogtastic machine out of not sincere interest, but some warped sense of politeness? Although, in the modern age of social media, even the casual observer can see that doesn’t make much sense. Hell, do you even read the thing?

Is there anybody out there?

Perhaps that is an answer I’d rather not know, eh?

So, until next week’s post, PLEASE STAND BY….

 

© 2017 Joseph P. Buonfiglio     All Rights Reserved.

 

TOO MUCH STUFF!

The Biggest Reason Why I Fear Death

by Joe Buonfiglio

I fear death.

No, please. Do not engage me in a debate about the existence of God and have I accepted your deity of choice and your path of spirituality as my only hope for salvation. This isn’t that type of blog piece.

No, I fear death because… I have too much STUFF!

It seems that over the course of my time traversing the mortal coil, I have accumulated and inordinate amount of— well — STUFF!

Oh sure, it all starts innocently enough. Grandpa gives you Keepsake-X from the first time you and he visited Place-X to celebrate Event-X, and then it seems hard to part with said memento after his soul or transcendent consciousness or inner-child reborn or whatever you believe is the driving engine behind our corporeal nature has left the Earth for whatever does or doesn’t happen to us after we depart from this Earthbound plane of existence. And if you haven’t already gone all religious zealot or existential on me, just think about that for a moment. You can probably remember that first thing you “collected” that started you on the path of your lifetime of stuff accumulation. For me, I believe this may have been the oversized Matchbox replica of an antique Model T Ford my Pop-Pop gave me to further stimulate my love of old vehicles. Yes, I still have it… sort of. Not able to part with it through embracing anything remotely resembling an acknowledgement that it is “just some old toy that’s taking up space,” I “gave” it to my son as — well — a keepsake.

And that’s how it starts; an accumulation of junk that gets spread out across your house as if rancid peanut butter across moldy toast. If this mighty assemblage of crap was ever all gathered together and piled item-to-item on top of one another, the stack of memorabilia and other insignificant trifles that mean nothing to anyone but yourself would result in a heap of sentimental rubbish easily compared to the classically clichéd height of the Empire State Building. Throw in a few house moves over the years where attempts to get rid of some of this amassed jumble turns into “The movers are here! Just box it and we’ll sort it out at the new place!” (which you never do), and bingo; the show Hoarders wants to start filming at your home next week.

After a while, you step back and look at what it would take to declutter and downsize your stuff, your life, and it can become more than a bit overwhelming. However, do not allow yourself to be deterred from this daunting undertaking; if not for yourself, for your loved ones. Because if you don’t take on the horrific job of getting rid of all your pointless paraphernalia, it’ll fall on your next of kin or best friend to do it after you’re dead.

So, give the ones you care about most the best gift you can possibly give them; the gift of not having to deal with all your stuff while they’re trying to mourn the loss of your selfish ass. Don’t let “I miss him,” and “What will I do without her?” become “I can’t believe I’m the one who has to deal with all this shit! It’s a good thing they’re dead or I’d kill them myself!”

Remember, they have their own shit to deal with… not to mention death.

 

© 2017 Joseph P. Buonfiglio     All Rights Reserved.
All photos are © 2017 Joseph P. Buonfiglio with All Rights Reserved.

www.JoeBuonfiglio.com

The Earth is Flat (Like Your Head)

The Song of the
SCIENCE DENIER

by Joe Buonfiglio

As sad a commentary as it is for its people, the United States of America has clearly entered into the Age of the Science Denier. We no longer keep politics in the halls of government, keep God in the pews of church and allow science to guide us through the realities of the physical world. Those in power have not just pivoted away from our revered “separation of church and state,” but now impose the blurred line of the Church-State Theocratic Complex upon the fact-based laboratory of science in an attempt to bend it to the will of both God and lobbyist.

If the human race is to survive this onslaught of shortsighted, simple-minded idiocy, we must all fight back within our limited, but passionate capacity to do so. As I am a writer, my contribution to the cause is literary. So along with the brilliant musical composition, vocals and performance of Paul Austin Kelly, I humbly provided lyrics and Unintentional Martyrs™ was born. One of its best creations is the pro-science satire:

SCIENCE DENIER
by
Unintentional Martyrs™

 

Please explain what you had in mind

     When you said Global Warming ain’t real.

It seems you won’t be happy

     ’til Miami’s gone and our skins peel.

 

I guess what’s old is new again

     ’cause the Earth is flat’s what you said.

But it’s not our world that lacks curvature;

   The flat you sense is just your head.

 

Science denier, science denier;

     Liar, liar, pants on fire.

Science denier, science denier,

     Do you believe it’s all God’s will

Or did you just take a stupid pill?

 

Evolution is just a bad dream.

     There’s no way you’re a monkey’s son.

Darwin was just another jerk-off;

     Have those finches on the run.

 

Vaccines are of the Devil.

     They do more harm than good.

Then your kid came down with the German measles.

     Guess you somehow misunderstood.

 

Science denier, science denier;

     Liar, liar, pants on fire.

Science denier, science denier,

     Do you believe it’s all God’s will

Or did you just take a stupid pill?

 

You say dinosaurs walked our blue-green Earth

     Less than six thousand years ago.

And man saddled the beasts, rode them like tame horses

     At the Moses’ Dino Wild West Show.

 

Climate change just isn’t true;

     This is something of which you know.

It’s all only Liberal propaganda;

     Fox News done told you so.

 

You deny all the science.

     You drive bigger and bigger cars.

Thanks to you we must all leave the Earth,

     So now you can go fuck up Mars.

 

Science denier, science denier;

     Liar, liar, pants on fire.

Science denier, science denier,

     Do you believe it’s all God’s will

Or did you just take a stupid pill?

 

Science denier, science denier;

     Liar, liar, pants on fire.

Science denier, science denier,

     Do you believe it’s all God’s will?

 

Science denier, science denier….

Want to hear the song in its entirety? It’s on my YouTube page at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OM9xbx5Qp4w

Or, just listen here:

 

Wait. You want to OWN the Science Denier song FOR ONLY 99¢? Well, looks as if this is your lucky day! You can buy this and all of the great Unintentional Martyrs™ songs here: https://bamazoo.com/unintentionallymartyredmusic

 

Lyrics © 2016 Unintentional Martyrs™ All Rights Reserved.
Music recording/performance 2016 Unintentional Martyrs™   All Rights Reserved.

 

© 2017 Joseph P. Buonfiglio     All Rights Reserved.
All photos/videos are © 2017 Unintentional Martyrs™ with All Rights Reserved.

www.JoeBuonfiglio.com

Potpourri of the Damned STILL on Hiatus?

THAT’S ABSURD!

by Joe Buonfiglio

Why are you looking here?  Don’t you realize Potpourri of the Damned is STILL on hiatus while I heal up? (Believe me, you don’t want to know.)

Okay, granted, it’s only for another week, so it’s not THAT big of a deal.

What do you mean, “not that big of a deal”?  YOU BASTARD!

Anyway, as Dr. Frank N. Furter would say, “Babies, don’t you panic.”  While I and my “creation” are on this short break, why not enjoy seeing me LIVE and in person!  Here’s how:

If you’re in the Chapel Hill, NC area on Friday, 5/12, I’ll be a guest storyteller onstage at 10 p.m. with the improv geniuses of MISTER DIPLOMAT at DSI (Dirty South Comedy Theater).

Read more about it here:

http://www.dsicomedy.com/calendar/2017/5/12/mister-diplomat

So that’s Chapel Hill, NC, Friday, 5/12, 10pm at @DSIcomedy

 SEE YOU THERE!